ORNL Uses New Technologies to Take Steam Out of Wasted Energy

By installing wireless sensors and replacing faulty traps along the 12 miles of steam lines at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, officials expect to save as much as $675,000 per year.
With 1,600 steam traps, which normally open slightly to discharge condensed steam with a negligible loss of live steam, the problem occurs when a trap fails and that failure goes undetected and unrepaired, said Teja Kuruganti, a member of the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division.
Manual inspections of each trap is a daunting and sometimes dangerous task, but by collecting and monitoring data initially from 30 sensors at five steam trap locations, the team of researchers expects to demonstrate significant savings.
Steam is used at ORNL, industrial sites …

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Types of Solar Water Heaters

Types of Solar Water Heaters
Solar water heaters can be either active or passive. An active system uses an electric pump to circulate the heat-transfer fluid; a passive system has no pump. The amount of hot water a solar water heater produces depends on the type and size of the system, the amount of sun available at the site, proper installation, and the tilt angle and orientation of the collectors.
Solar water heaters are also characterized as open loop (also called “direct”) or closed loop (also called “indirect”). An open-loop system circulates household (potable) water through the collector. A closed-loop system uses a heat-transfer fluid (water or diluted antifreeze, for example) to collect heat and a heat …

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Ancient animal urine provides insight into climate change

Scientists at the University of Leicester are using an unusual resource to investigate ancient climates– prehistoric animal urine.
The animal in question is the rock hyrax, a common species in countries such as Namibia and Botswana. They look like large guinea pigs but are actually related to the elephant.
Hyraxes use specific locations as communal toilets, some of which have been used by generations of animals for thousands of years. The urine crystallises and builds up in stratified accumulations known as ‘middens’, providing a previously untapped resource for studying long-term climate change.
Funding from the Leverhulme Trust and, more recently, the European Research Council has allowed the Leicester group to join an international team led by Dr Brian …

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Turning Waste Heat Into Power

University of Arizona physicists have discovered a new way of harvesting waste heat and turning it into electrical power. Taking advantage of quantum effects, the technology holds great promise for making cars, power plants, factories and solar panels more efficient.
What do a car engine, a power plant, a factory and a solar panel have in common? They all generate heat – a lot of which is wasted. University of Arizona physicists have discovered a new way of harvesting waste heat and turning it into electrical power.
Using a theoretical model of a so-called molecular thermoelectric device, the technology holds great promise for making cars, power plants, factories and solar panels more efficient, to name a few …

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Green Travel

Green Travel Tips: 18 Strategies to Save Money While Traveling Green
The terms “green travel” or “ecotourism” evoke a wide variety of images ranging from sleeping in hammocks to purchasing pricey hemp luggage from the newest “hip” shopping center. However, to travel green one does not have to do without luxury or inversely to spend a lot of money. It simply means doing your part to preserve the ecology of the place(s) you visit. In fact, green travel can save you money at the same time. We have provided the following list of 30 ways to save money through green tourism, while at the same time doing your part to “save the planet”.
Packing and Planning
1. Pack …

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